The liquor alternative making $10M ARR in 2 years

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My guest today is someone who came up with a counter-intuitive product that I think a lot of people in my audience can probably really relate to.

There comes a point in your life when you’ve got kids, you’re running a business, you’ve got to get up early, and so you don’t want to drink.

But, for many people, having a cocktail is a ritual.

Well, David Crooch figured out a way to have it both ways. He is the co-founder of Ritual Zero Proof, a true liquor replacement.

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David Crooch

David Crooch

Ritual Zero Proof

David Crooch is the co-founder of Ritual Zero Proof, a true liquor replacement.

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Full Interview Transcript

Andrew: Hey there, freedom fighters. My name is Andrew Warner on. I’m actually recording in the middle of chaos. And, and I think I drove today’s guests a little bit crazy putting this interview together. Here’s the deal I am now in my last day here in San Francisco. Uh, I imagine we’re going to be by the time you listen to this in Austin.

And I, I had an interview scheduled with David crutch for yesterday. It was too chaotic. I started texting him. I said, I can’t do it. Then I texted him back and I said, but I really want to interview you. And then we just went back and forth a lot. And here’s why he is the founder of rituals. Zero proof.

They make alcohol, the equivalent of alcoholic drinks without the alcohol. Now, for some people that would be laughable, they’d kind of. Put it off. And I think most of those people are in college and they’re just drinking to get drunk. There’s a group of people who just drink because they enjoy the taste.

They enjoy the experience with people and I’m one of them. I, you guys know me. I’ve been doing scotch nights for years. I love scotch. I have a good scotch collection, but I also tell people when they come over, this is not about scotch. It’s about the conversation. It’s about giving you a drink that will slow you down enough that you’ll spend time.

And when people come over for scotch night and they don’t drink alcohol, I’ll have water or flavored sparkling water for them. That doesn’t seem right. It doesn’t seem like it’s, it’s the right alternative. They’re having a whole other experience. Well, what David did is he created the, the experience that I was looking for.

And I haven’t tried it yet. I have a bottle here. I’m glad actually, David, that you sent me rum and not whiskey, even though I’m a whiskey drinker, because I don’t want to keep comparing it. I don’t want to keep saying, is this exactly like that? If it’s a little bit off, it’s not right. I want to have a fresh experience and see what’s possible.

Thanks for being here, David,

David: Yeah, thanks for having me.

Andrew: my, I should say this interview is sponsored by HostGator for hosting websites, overpass for hiring salespeople. We’ll talk about those later first, David, what’s the revenue at ritual zero proof right now.

David: Revenue. Uh, so this is our second year in business. Well, almost well, it’ll be our second year selling product, uh, and, uh, just a few weeks. And we’ll, we’ll cross the, the $10 million threshold this week.

Andrew: Wow. We 10 million for the whole time or annual

David: Now for for the year.

Andrew: for the, for wait for the last 12

David: 20, 20, 20, 20 20 21 will be a $10 million plus annual revenue year for us.

Andrew: Okay. All right. Why does it, why does it even matter to you? This came up when you and a buddy of yours were having drinks, what was the situation they had called it up that made you even want to consider having a non-alcoholic drink with him?

David: You know, to your point a minute ago. Um, at first it almost was laughable, you know, my, uh, my, my best friend Marcus, um, who’s now my co-founder Marcus Sakey, uh, he had me over for a night of fun, you know, him and I do this a lot. We get together, we drink, we played chess. We go to the bar, whatever it may be.

And he’s a very good cook, um, as am I. And we like to dabble in the kitchen in every capacity and on his cutting board where a handful of interesting ingredients, I couldn’t quite figure out what the heck he had just made. I’m kind of staring at him and he’s smiling and I go, what are you doing over here?

He goes, let me show you, I mean, make sense. It’s a mocktail. It was, it was purposeful. He said, you know what? The drinking a little bit too much would like to slow down a little bit, but still want that thing. That, that marks the moment that enhances conversation, it makes me feel better. It makes me slow down to your point a minute ago.

Um, three and he made this thing for me. I took a sip and I said, That is horrible. Why did you give me that this is an awful thing, but then he laughed and I got the point immediately. And then throughout the evening, what became obvious was that the only problem with it was that part of it was it wasn’t direction. What if we could make this directional and begin to approximate the flavor profiles of known spirits?

Andrew: do you mean by directional?

David: Meaning, if we just made a thing called spirit alternative or blue flower, you wouldn’t know what to do with it. You wouldn’t know how to use it, but tequila, alternative, you know exactly

Andrew: Uh, you know what, so I’ve been wondering this a lot. I’ve been thinking, why is everyone trying to make the alcohol tastes? The non-alcoholic equivalent tastes like alcohol? Why don’t we just have a drink? That’s so powerful. That has nothing to do with alcohol and not taste like alcohol has no historic connection to it, but just so powerful on the mouth that you have to slow down.

Kind of like, I almost thought, could you put hot sauce in a cup and people would slowly have to drink. And what you’re saying is then you’d have to introduce a whole new experience to replace what people have got it.

David: Yeah, you would, the education would be very difficult, you know, in that two and a half seconds you get, when walking by a grocery store shelf, if you saw some new thing with no names, a bit ambiguous, you keep walking. Um, it. could be amazing, but how do you get that across to the audience? Kind of. Almond milk.

If we call it almond water, almond juice, almond extract, you wouldn’t put it in your coffee. You wouldn’t put it in your cereal. Milk was directional, Right,

The impossible burger. Um, it’s called that for a reason. If it was just called, you know, XYZ, you wouldn’t know how to use it. And that’s exactly what we did.

You want

Andrew: That’s a good, that’s a great example. In fact, that would even go beyond, uh, or earlier than impossible burger. There were a lot of these bean burgers that had no flavor connection to meat. They were essentially just beans connected together with a few other ingredients. And if they would have just sold it as bean Patty, even we wouldn’t have known what to do with it, call it a bean burger.

I get it. And I’m used to putting it on a bun, but I’m also used to not having a burger on a bonnet. If that’s, uh, if I’m trying to go that way. Got it. Oh, you just solved a huge, uh, a huge mystery for

David: Yeah. If that was called bean slices, you would not make a burger out of it

Andrew: Right. Right. And if you go into a bar and they say we have kombucha, kombucha, is it, does Kaipa drink these drinks slowly? It’s still not the same. I put that in a different portion of my mind. Okay. Now that you heard that, what do you give a rat’s ass about it so that your buddy doesn’t want to drink alcohol?

Let them drink water, let them just pass it. Why did you have to obsess on this until it became a business? And I, and I didn’t realize how tough it would be to create it. We’ll talk about that later, but why stick? Why would it have to stick in your mind?

David: You know, the, the parallels to other alternatives immediately made sense. The, the almond milk, the coconut milk gluten-free bread, decaf coffee, right? The use case Is the same in every regard. And then you get into the alternative meats. Um, most people that that are buying the impossible burger aren’t vegan, they’ve gotten ground Chuck in their bag as well.

They just want to feel good about a choice. They want

Andrew: true? I mean, that’s factual or you’re not just saying that,

David: no, no.

Andrew: know, that for fact.

David: that buy. Yep. No, that’s perfect. Um, and, and, and make it impossible is starting to catch on at restaurants, make it impossible. It means use fake meat may not even mean use the impossible program meat.

Andrew: Maybe use beyond me, but make an impossible. Got it. All right.

David: It’s kind of a phrase. So I like, I like to host, I love to have people over. Um, I have, I have young kids. I have, I have three young babies. I had a wife that was recently pregnant. There’s a million reasons. You might not want to have the cocktail, but you want the ritual. You know, my ritual is after the kids are finally down after the day is over.

Make a beautiful cocktail and download my day, uh, to my wife. And it doesn’t have to be alcoholic were for me. The third one doesn’t have to be alcoholic. Right. I want to have a couple and That’s a great,

Andrew: That’s a good point. Yes. Right. There are some days I just want to have a couple, but then I’m done and I can’t switch to water. You know what I’ve done as an alternative club soda with bitters works as an alternative, it looks like it’s, it’s not exactly the same, but I’m seeing some bitters now that are coming out that have like extra spiciness or extra something.

So you feel a little bit of a bite. It’s not the same, but I, I get what, you’re, what you’re talking about.

David: It’s heading in that direction. And I used to do the same thing as well, but to keep going with, with known cocktails or to get creative and be able to really build around something like you build around alcohol.

Andrew: Yes,

David: For cocktails,

Andrew: right.

David: it’s really fun. And it works. It works incredibly well. And you can still get up in the morning and kill tomorrow.

Andrew: I can get up in the morning and kill tomorrow. Even, even after drinking hard. I don’t get hung over. Thankfully. But I want to think sometimes I want to just sit there sometimes at night, there’s nothing like the ritual of you have your drink and you read, but if you drink, you don’t read as well. I play chess too.

I want to have my drink and play chess, but I fricking hate I want to win or at least learn from the game. If I have even one whiskey at time. I’m going to be fine the next day. I’m going to be fine for a conversation, but I’m not going to win as much. All right, I get it. So you said this is a business opportunity and you kind of have been trained to think of business opportunities.

You talked to our producer, you said, look, when I was a kid, I wanted to mow lawns like other kids. My dad didn’t let me just go out there and mow the lawns. Why did you want to mow lawns and talk about what your dad did

David: Yeah. So, you know, I want it to work. I want it to make 10 or 15 bucks per lawn and have some, have some money to go buy baseball cards or whatever it may be at at, at 13. And, um, my dad was all for it now. He wanted me to, but he said, but you’re going to do it right. And we, he made me go start my first company of broken bow hunt service.

And we went through the process of becoming, uh, an entity and, um, and getting the bank

Andrew: the whole LLC and the bet. Why, why couldn’t he just say, look, there’s a kid who’s going, who’s mowing the lawn. People would give money to the kid cash. He puts it in his own bank account. The fact that he doesn’t have an LLC maybe makes it a little more charming for adults. What was he trying to do?

David: You know, it was in at the time it was a complete pain in the ass. Like, well, why, why is everything that’d be harder than it is, but, you know, but when you look back at. We actually had to gain and lose back then, right? My 500 bucks per, per summer or whatever it was, there’s a much bigger level and a much more valuable lesson than the thousand dollars you can make that season.

And that’s what it was. And it’s, everything is straightforward. You know, you, you, you can’t Just go do the thing. There’s more around the thing that puts it into context and

Andrew: teaching the mechanics of it. And you’re somebody who, who was, I feel open to it. You told our producer also. I didn’t know. I wasn’t a great artist, but you made art and what’d you do with it?

David: I was, I was a terrible artist. Now I would rip pages out of coloring books and go door to door, trying to sell those, those pieces of art to my neighbors

Andrew: Did that

David: we’re talking age, age four, age five up there was, there was one little old couple that bought them almost every time for a penny. A lot of people slammed the door at me and most would just turn me away and pat me on the head.

Um, but you know, there was, there was an itch, there was an itch to go and, and, and be a part of commerce

Andrew: I get it. Did you ever have like a desk set or something

David: Sure. Yeah. Yeah.

I had a little, I had a little desk set. I enjoyed all of that very much. And thinking outside the box. No, I haven’t had a boss ever since, since waiting tables in college, I’ve never worked for anybody else.

And that

Andrew: you do after college and what’d you do after college and before ritual,

David: Hmm. Yeah. So I went into the fitness and physical therapy industry. So I worked for myself doing a form of physical therapy for 15 years.

Andrew: meaning what doctors would, uh, send people over. You’d help them out and you do it from where.

David: That’s that’s, that’s very much right. You know, it was, it was all done on a, on a table. It’s a picture of like a massage table set up in a very clinical environment, working through a very detailed process to find a muscle imbalances and account mechanical imbalances and people that were causing to leading to pain and dysfunction

Andrew: You do this, like one at a time, they’d come into your office. You

David: at a time. Yep.

Andrew: years. How would you do that for 15 years? You’ve got this creative entrepreneurial, like ability

David: The only work is because it wasn’t a. Protocol. It was just a process of thinking through a problem and it never was the same, your shoulder pain and the next client shoulder pain were very different problems, even though they might’ve represented themselves in.

the same manner. So it was a very active thought process, but eventually it became too much.

I tried to, I tried to expand that and bring on employees and hire under me and it never worked. I was, I was the product

Andrew: Oh, because you knew how to find the thing that made somebodies pain go

David: Had the reputation, you know, people wanted to come see me, pass them off to somebody else that didn’t really work. And You can only scale your 24 hour day so much. Um, you can

Andrew: money over a few years where you were trying to expand it.

David: Um, didn’t necessarily lose a lot of money, but it was a lot of time. I did. Yeah.

there was some money and some time it was just a frustration. I, it was something that I absolutely couldn’t scale and I hadn’t maximized my own hours. You know, Brett killing myself to do it. You can raise your prices only so much, and you’re, you’re literally capped and then tapped out and I wanted more.

Andrew: All right. Why did it take 18 months to create this? I’ve talked to people in my interviews here who will go out and get, I don’t know what they’re called. I think it’s called a flavorist. They literally will Google a flavorist. They’ll say this is what I want the thing to taste like the person does it.

And that’s it. Why does it take you 18 months to create something that tastes like, like a spirit.

David: So we, we went to the best in the business. We went to flavorists. We primarily went to distillers, went down to Louisville. We talked to people in the spirits business, told them what we’re trying to do. And they said it can’t be done.

Andrew: I get this, I get them. That’s like going to a rancher and saying, I want to make fake meat and then we’ll get out of here, boy. Right. But when you’re going to flavor is all they do is make flavors. Why can’t they do that? is it about the flavor let’s be specific.

David: Sure. So for one, it had to be good enough. Um, and that, that is tricky. They, you know, we went through 500 iterations just to make the whiskey 500 iterations just to make the gin, um, a few less with tequila and rum. Cause they came after and we had learned a lot, but it needed to be good. It needed to be good enough if we knew it was never going to be the exact same.

It’s never, you know, if we made a scotch, it wouldn’t. Compare it to your favorite scotch in your bar? Um, I’m a big bourbon guy. I drink a lot of bourbon are our whiskey is not the exact same. It doesn’t have to be, you know, it’s coconut milk is not the exact same as milk. A veggie burger is not the exact same, but that you space is the same and it still scratches the itch, but we wanted to get it right.

We really, you know, we, the categories. Um, it’s, I think it’s about much more important than a lot of the, a lot of the meat alternative type products, because we’re actually solving a real problem for some people, but it needed to be compelling enough to, to win the argument. And we had big goals, you know, we wanted to take this thing all the way, and again much like my dad’s lesson early on trying to have a lawn service, get it right in the beginning, set it up, get everything lined up so that when you are going balls to the wall, you can be present for it.

Andrew: David, if I just toss $25,000 at a flavorist, they don’t get paid that much. Right. And say, I just want duplicate a scotch light feeling here. Seven scotches, just duplicated. They can come back to me with a no

David: No, we, we, we, we did that, um, and then paid significantly more and, and no,

Andrew: Why is it because alcohol has a different type of taste? Is it the heat that you can’t duplicate? Cause you could duplicate a taste, but not that fire

David: That heat and burn was a big part of what we’ve worked on in the needed and needed to have that substantial thing that made you pause. Right.

I may take a minute and go, Okay. I shouldn’t go up this. This is, this is going to mark a moment for me. This is going to make things better. I’m going to take my time and keep this thing going.

Um, and, and, you know, I have a very well-defined palette. I’m just lucky in that regard. My co-founder Marcus is a supertaster. We really wanted this thing to work. And we, so we sat and we went, we went to Louisville, we went down there, we were in the office in the, in the conference room next to the stills for months just getting this thing right.

Knocking it out, tasting it and refining it.

Andrew: All right. I’m realizing I didn’t shave. Everything is just totally off. My lighting in this room is off. All right. I’m going to open up this rum alternative right here in a moment for somebody to do the sponsorship. And then I want to understand how you finally got it. And I think your funding, uh, approach is really interesting.

And the way you got customers is interesting. But first my sponsors HostGator for anyone who needs a website hosted, I urge them to go to hostgator.com/mixer. Do what you get a great price. David, if, uh, if you were to start today, is do you have an idea for what you’d build today and maybe go to HostGator and have them host your website?

David: I mean a new, a new product.

Andrew: Yeah. What’s a new PR a new business that you would launch today.

David: Hmm, that’s a great question. Um, you know because it’s a big part of my life right now, I might try to make, uh, make a better mouse trap in the baby food industry.

Andrew: Ooh.

David: There’s there’s a lot that seems to be missing. Um, nothing’s quite good enough. Nothing’s quite versatile enough. Um, the ease of use versatility flavor profiles, they’re going to appreciate and hit those nutritional, um, indicators.

I think I would go straight there, um, because I’m also trying to feed my kids every day and it’s very difficult.

Andrew: I read this random article about how rats in different parts of the world are used to different types of food and they eat it based on like the people, the humans around them, which is obvious. We have not respected that in our kids. I wonder if maybe our kids don’t have as much of an adventurous palate because we feed them the same blend nonsense over and over.

I also have learned that. Um, we should feed kids peanuts, and don’t, don’t take this advice from me, but this is one of the things that I heard. We should give kids peanuts early on to help avoid a peanut allergy. Wonder if we need to do that with other food, right. That’s a great idea. Diversify kids pallets, make it healthy and set them up for success.

Long-term. Listen to me, people, whether it’s that idea or anything else, when you need a website, go to hostgator.com/mixergy, they already have great dependable hosting. I use them and have for years already have great low prices. When I switched over, I liked saving literally thousands of dollars a month on hosting services.

And if you use my URL, they’ll charge even less. hostgator.com/mixergy. Alright, I’m gonna open this up. I’ve actually seen this on Amazon. I’ve considered a David and truthfully I was a little afraid. It felt like some of their reviews were hesitant. I thought, what if this doesn’t make me look good? I don’t know.

I was too hung up. I should’ve just pulled the trigger on it. It. Um, you know, what it was a mistake about, because I think I was too afraid of the new that would take away from the traditional experience that I was looking for. And then when I got this, I said, I should have just tried it. All right. Let me open this up right here.

This is a recipe book. Why do you include a recipe book with, uh, with the bottle?

David: You know, the, all of the products are really designed to be used in cocktails. Um, they can be, they can be drank neat or on the rocks, but the use case is really supposed to be a cocktail. And that makes great cocktails. And so we wanted to give everybody the opportunity to see some of our favorites and some are just the classics, you know, one-to-one like you would use the normal stuff.

Andrew: I guess also, if you’re, if you’re putting it into a recipe, then you’re not judging whether this rung tastes exactly like the one that you’ve had yesterday, whether this whiskey is the one, like your dad gave you growing up. Um,

David: That’s right. And again, not supposed to, I’m not trying to be so close to the real thing that you can’t tell. But in some cocktails, that is the case. And I think our gin and tonic is you can completely forget that it’s not

Andrew: love the bottle. I, I think people don’t appreciate the bottle makes a big difference. You want that atmosphere when somebody is coming to your house and they see your whiskey collection, they see your drink. You want them to feel that it makes sense. You don’t want something that looks, it looks random.

I love you. I, I, no one can see it. They should actually just go online. You can’t see it cause I’m blasting my face with lighting because we got nothing else in this room. Um, uh,

David: Branding for us was a big deal. We wanted it clean and simple, and that is very hard. it is simple is very difficult. It’s easy to muck things up with a lot. It’s clean, it’s straightforward, it’s simple. And that’s what, that’s what we wanted it to be. You, you look at it and you go run alternative.

Andrew: Right. It looks letter pressed. I actually think that you’re hitting me over the head with the alternative. It says ritual zero proof. Zero proof is in huge letters, but it doesn’t even necessarily need to be visible rum alternative. Why are you being so clear that this is an alternative instead of letting it sit naturally with everything else?

It’s like an iLet whiskey. Doesn’t say iLet highly. I lay over all over

David: No. Um, because if I ever went to the liquor store and bought that thinking, it was real liquor, I’d be pissed.

Andrew: oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. That

David: I want you to know no, no surprises. We want you to know what you’re getting and buy it on purpose.

Andrew: Okay. That makes total sense. Um, all right. I’m trying to open this up here in real time with here. There we go. I love that pops down. All right. I also, for some reason, do not like liquor, that ha that comes in a screw top. If I could avoid it, there’s some, that’s really good in a screw top, but I prefer that it has this, this cork top on it.

All right.

David: So the rum it’s our, it’s our newest product. Um, and for me it just hits a lot of the right.

notes. It’s great. In the summertime, it can also be that kind of Christmas in a glass. Very, very seasonal drink.

Andrew: I don’t drink rum. I don’t remember the last time I had rum. I like that though. What I’m trying to find is will this slow me down? Will this make me have some, some time with my friends?

David: Yeah. If you’ve already had a couple of drinks, but you want to keep the conversation going.

Andrew: Okay. It doesn’t have that. Oh, it does. That. He comes afterwards the first sip, the top of it doesn’t taste like alcohol heavy, but then afterwards I tasted the back of my mouth. I taste what feels like alcohol. And then also it feels like, um, like, like spicy, like spicy spices. Does that make sense? Cuddly and taste spices.

Oh yeah. All right.

David: sure. We wanted more, more flavor. More of that, you know, big molasses knows to come

Andrew: I definitely see the

David: ride. There’s a bit of a tongue tingle. It kind of runs through the whole mask. Just more sensation, more of everything. That’s kind of what we’re about more, more time with your friends, more conversation, more drinks, more everyday.

Andrew: I went faster with that second step. And then it did hurt the top of my mouth. Like the back of my throat feels something that it’s all right. I like it. And you know what I like about this? I think that people who don’t like alcohol, because it does feel too, too heavy for them or too, I don’t know too much of a punch in the mouth will appreciate this.

It’s softened by a little bit of that molassey flavor, which I think by the way is why a lot of people drink bourbon that they want that sweetness as opposed to like a Scottish whiskey. Right. I’m not, this is not a tasting thing, but I want to understand the business behind it. You finally had it done.

How much money did it cost you to get the right flavor?

David: um, for the very first, the initial first right flavor?

was not that well, it’s about 50 grand. Um, to, to get really the proof of concept for one skew, we didn’t stop, but it was enough to go, Okay.

we’re we could stop here. This is good enough for one it’s not good enough for us, but we proved concepts

Andrew: Ah, got it. And this money was all your money, the 50,000 you and

David: originally kind of founder funded. And then we went to our eventual investor. Yeah.

Andrew: So the way you got it funded was pretty interesting. Where’d the money come from.

David: Yeah. So we, you know, I had another food and beverage company, my business partner and his wife and my two co-founders, he’s a very successful novelist, written nine novels, um, multiple Hollywood screenplays. We both know that traditional fundraising absolutely sucks. It’s awful. Um, and we didn’t want to do that.

The tiger by the tail and to, to become the brand in a new space, we needed to be able to scream about it. We needed the proper funding and we didn’t want to leave much for chance. So we went straight to, um, to the largest liquor company in the world to Diasio and they have, um, a venture wing, um, that does this kind of deal.

It’s really, it’s a, you know, a lot of big strategics have some version of an Excel. Um, which gives them maybe just first rights of refusal to buy you later, but they’re willing to fund your idea. In the meantime, we took a lot of steps further than that, um, and, and getting into bed with them and it was all worth it, you

Andrew: had no idea that they would do that. That’s clever for them to be able to pick up on these new products. Um, and so how did you even know about it as you were talking to distillers? Did they bring this up?

David: No, you know, I, I forget exactly how I found out about there. There have been showing I might’ve just been researching it myself. That probably was it. Um, but I think this is probably the model that’s going to go forward. You know, the, the, the model right now is. You start a company, you’ve got some exit partner in mind.

There’s some Unilever Kraft or someone out there that would be the perfect person for you. Campbell’s whoever it may be. And you, you build this company and you try to get a series a and credit to get a series B and you get to 25 million in annual revenue, and then you can approach a strategic for an exit.

Um, then they pay handsomely. They pay more than they should have to. And you had to Do a lot of fundraising given up huge chunks of equity in the meantime. So you’re heavily diluted. And it’s just an awkward situation. What if they go in early? What if, you know, I think that makes a lot more sense. I think they’ll make more bets, they’ll have more things that don’t work out.

And at the end of the day, they’ll pay less for better products. They can help shape the entire time, give more input. They have a huge amount of experience and you get a better net at the end of the day.

Andrew: Do they get an option to buy you or first write a first refusal? They do both.

David: Um, no, they, we worked out a deal to where They have the absolute right to bias. Yeah. Um,

Andrew: So anytime they say they want to come buy you, they buy you, um, at a pre-agreed formula.

David: that’s right. Yep.

Andrew: got it. So that means that it could limit your upside. If you end up turning ritual into a giant brand that could stand on its own, they could come in and say, well, now we.

David: It limits your upside, but it eliminates the floor. And I think people don’t respect the binary nature of startups enough, one zero success, failure, lotta zeros. Right. Um, if you Can get a victory, that’s a big deal and it’s still a life-changing victory. you know, it may

Andrew: me how this works? I I’ve seen this in the, in the soda industry. I’ve interviewed founders who are, who are, uh, who did this type of deal. I don’t fully understand it. How did they, how did they limit the floor for example?

David: Uh, getting, getting the funding we’ve needed to date, um, you know, being adequately capitalized is the biggest reason

Andrew: How much did they put it in.

David: I can’t tell you,

Andrew: we’re talking millions or hundreds of thousands. Millions.

David: many Millions. Yeah.

Andrew: So very first from the start first investment coming into the accelerator was millions.

David: Uh, effectively. Yeah. Um, it’s, uh, we’ve, we’ve had proof points along the way, so they’re, they’re, they’re incredibly smart and they make a lot of these milestones and when we hit them, no, we’re, we’re up for additional funding.

Andrew: And is the milestone creation or is it also number of sales?

David: Both

Andrew: Okay. All right.

David: and then, you know, get enough of those in, and instead of it. makes more sense to purchase than to invest further. And that’s where, we’re where we’re headed. Um,

Andrew: And you get a decent salary, so you can take care of your family. Right? And that’s what you’re talking about. You’re not suffering and making your family suffer as you try to live out the stream, by the way, this is really good. It’s not, here’s what I mean by really good. It’s not just the flavor.

The flavor is fine. It’s not, I, I’m not a rum drinker. It’s the fact that when I think I could drink a lot, I feel it in the back of my throat instead of just. But last one was too much. Just take your time with it. And I like that. That’s what I’m aiming for. It also has a nice look. If I’m at a party, it doesn’t look awkward.

I also think that a bars they do, non-drinkers a disservice and probably intentionally, when you ask for a drink, that’s not whiskey, that’s not alcohol. They give you the giant water glass that you’d give your kid at lunch. That’s just an embarrassment. I tell them, put it in the fricking same drink that you put the whiskey in.

David: Yeah. And with, with this,

Andrew: Right.

David: my goal for ritual to be synonymous with non-alcoholic. So if you ordered a ritual old fashioned, you’d get a non-alcoholic old fashioned ritual GNT, and the board can charge you for it. Now, Right. now, you’re going to

Andrew: Right. And that’s the other thing. The bar doesn’t feel like they’re getting ripped off because they’re charging you less. And so they have to embarrass you and you don’t feel bad for it.

David: Make every seat count, right? Everyone that’s there wants to be there and wants to be social and wants to be accepted for whatever they’re doing. Now, we have a way to help that,

Andrew: Yeah, I’m not paying for the whiskey. When I’m going into a bar, I’m paying for the space in the atmosphere. I wish they would just say, all right, bitters and club soda, we’re going to charge you 20 bucks. We all understand why we’re doing this, but they can’t do that there. Um, all right. So. Um, so they come in, they invest.

What else did they give you? What I, when I talk to founders, who’ve taken money from accelerators in the tech space. It’s not about the money. It’s about the connections, the know-how et cetera. What else does the angio give you?

David: No, some of that. Now a lot of it is just his know-how. There’s a lot of

Andrew: Can you give me some specific note? What know-how did they give you? Did they design the bottle? Did they introduce you

David: they, they, they really, they really left. They really let us handle most everything. We’re very much not autonomous company. They’re not giving us their economies of scale. They’re not

Andrew: So what’s an example of something that they gave you that

David: It’s, it’s really, um, knowledge, you know, they’ve been selling

Andrew: Is there a specific thing that you can remember that they taught you, that you wouldn’t have known?

David: You know, when it comes to spirits, no one knows more about three tier distribution than they do, you know, in terms of how to get bottles from point a to point B, where we differ a bit is that we’re not alcoholic.

So a lot of their knowledge doesn’t have to apply to us. It can, we can also mail you a bottle like we Did to you in the mail or through Amazon or whatever it may be. So they’re, they’re very good at helping us navigate the spirits industry. And we’re leaning on them for that. While we also go play in the non spirits industries,

Andrew: you go online sales first or offline first?

David: you went online first and jumped into

Andrew: Amazon first. And your website or Amazon, your website at the same time.

David: Very close to each other within, within weeks. Yeah. Yeah.

Amazon, you have to be there. It’s a, it’s a search engine as much as it is a store, you know, it’s Google for products. Um, and it’s been wonderful for us. We, we launched into our first national retailer kind of days before the country is shut down.

And, you know, back when we thought that zombies were coming out of the sewers and didn’t understand how the world was going to look and we had to pivot, we had, we had one great retail. Some independence, um, some good stuff here in Chicago. And then we really had the opportunity to go speak to our consumers online, find our voice, find our tribe, see who our ultimate consumer really is.

Cause I, I built this product for me. You know, I’m in my forties. I have kids. I’m busy. I like to have a couple of drinks at night and then downshift into a ritual, come to find out. There’s a lot of audiences looking for this that are not me. And it was good to find those people as well.

Andrew: What do you mean? What, how do they think about Uh, alternative.

David: It could be. I mean, for me, it’s something I’m drinking that night for them. It could be the only thing that drinking that night or it’s a dry month, a dry week, a dry night. It’s a doctor on call. It’s someone running the marathon tomorrow. It’s because you’re pregnant. There’s so many good use cases for this, um, far beyond just me.

Yeah.

Andrew: is this also like a keto thing? How does alcohol affect KIDO?

David: I’ll I’ll I’ll call is not Quito, and then it will absolutely throw you out of ketosis. Um, our gin and tequila has zero calories. Our rum and whiskey have tin, so we’re very keto friendly.

Andrew: Ah, okay. All right. You get into Amazon, I guess at that point, you didn’t in the beginning, know that the Quito was, uh, that the people who are into this keto diet are going to gravitate towards you. You just said, this is an alternative. You put it up there. What was the initial reaction?

David: You know um, Amazon’s a fun place to go read reviews and cry. Uh, it

Andrew: there’ve been some real mixed reactions on, uh, on ritual. I’ve seen it when you first came out.

David: for the, for the best tasting in this entire category, the best selling. Um, and as someone that builds. I know you can’t get any better. It’s still amazing to see a product. Like do you have in your hand at three and a half stars, right? It’s frustrating, but you could sell a bottle of water on Amazon and people are going to come hate you for it.

That’s just the nature of reviews. You rarely leave a good one. You might go after a bad one, but you know, the, like, it was like the first day and I’m like 30 bottles sold and you’re like, what the heck? And then 300 and then 600. It was just, it was just,

Andrew: Because you tapped into a need. I looked for this dude. I looked for it and truthfully, here’s what, here’s another thing that I hesitated about. It was very polarizing. It went very much for like this person. Uh, Jason Salia gave you one star and listen to how he starts off as. Gather around my friends and listen to the cautionary tale of the creation of ritual zero proof imitation quote whiskey.

Once upon a time, there was a married couple and I couldn’t keep reading from there. This is a person who is really invested in giving his negative review. And so that was it. And then also the price $28 is the price of a nice whiskey. And you guys are charging $28 for something that’s not a nice whiskey.

It’s a nice whiskey alternative. I wasn’t sure.

David: Yeah.

Andrew: that was a hesitation.

David: It’s crazy. We’re one of the least expensive products in the category. So most of our competitors are well above 30 bucks, some 36, some, some

Andrew: competitors were selling non-alcoholic whiskey.

David: Uh, non-alcoholic spirits. So some of them kind of go along the lines that you were talking earlier. Uh, the, the company that really broke trail initially and started selling this type of thing is called Seedlip Seedlip is a non-alcoholic spirit.

It’s ambiguous. It’s um, it’s esoteric. It’s very good, but you don’t know what it is. Um, but it’s, it’s, it’s a higher price point, um, partners understand product.

Andrew: I, um, I, and also, I don’t think they’re on Amazon. Oh, they are on Amazon. Okay. All right. I see it. I didn’t, I didn’t find them before. I don’t know what it was about you. You’re the ones who I just kept coming across. I didn’t realize there were alternatives. Um, okay. And yes, they are more expensive than you and stuff.

Why is it so expensive?

David: You know, alternatives are often harder to make than the original thing know.

Andrew: Is that right?

David: Yeah, look at impossible burger. Look at almond milk. It’s not cheap. You know, we’re milk comes out of a cow. It’s pretty good. Um, go try to make something like milk. Now you’re putting a lot of work into it and you’re

Andrew: But it’s still, it doesn’t cost under $5 to create a bottle of whiskey or whiskey alternative,

David: Um, maybe a whiskey.

Andrew: really whiskey alternative costs more than $5.

David: Uh, it sure can. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Um, yeah, so it, it, it’s a more complicated process then, then making whiskey and that’s from, from a whiskey lover. I love, I love whiskey. Yeah. Um, but we want, we will to be equivalent. No, a lot of, you know, look at, look at lab grown diamonds. They’re a little bit less than diamonds.

Look at FOLA the person’s a little bit less like a Tesla, a little bit more, you know, um, alternatives or are sought after. And sometimes they do cost

Andrew: Oh, I know that beyond we, we eat vegetarian food in my family. Um, and so we do see that the vegetarian version of burgers, whether they’re using a possible or something else, end up costing more, by the way. No, you should do. And I know you’re thinking about this. You need to do taste tastings. I feel like if, uh, if people would taste it, they would understand it so much more.

The bottle communicates a lot. The tasting is really something.

David: Yeah. When, when COVID kind of shut down demos at stores that hurt us. That was going to be a big part of our marketing. But hopefully, hopefully this year we can, we can do it.

Andrew: I would also say this date, sorry. Now I’m getting into advice mode. Cause I, what you’re doing, here’s why I love what you’re doing. I don’t want people to feel left out when you’re doing, when you’re doing an alcoholic event. I also don’t. I know that there’s certain things that slow us down. I used to do cigars.

I don’t like smoking scars, but if you’re smoking cigars with guys, there’s nowhere else for us to do, to, to turn. We’re having a conversation we’re slowly, you know, enjoying the cigar. It’s an experience I’d like it, that you could do that. Um, here’s my other piece of advice. I don’t think you should do just one sip, one sip, and you compare it to whiskey.

You compare it to rom, et cetera. The fact that I’m sitting here and having a conversation with you at this makes me appreciate it. The first sip is not as good for me as the one that I just had a moment ago. It’s a huge difference. All right. Um, so you’ve you get your funding from them? You start to bottle, it was bottling.

Is bottling an issue. Is this a simple thing to do?

David: Uh, it’s not a simple, you know, finding the right partners to work with. And all of this is complicated. You’re looking for the right certifications, the right type of equipment. We had to buy a bunch of equipment to make the right partner work for us. So it, it it’s, it’s all complicated. It’s all learning.

Andrew: What do you mean by the right bar? It’s not a bottle or who does this? It’s a co-packer. Am I right? I was just talking to the

David: Yeah. It’s, uh, we, we use a spirits manufacturer, so it’s a company that makes other, other alcohol. Um, we’re one of the few things they make that is not alcoholic. Yeah. But it’s the, it’s the wake up every day and learn something new part of entrepreneurship. That’s so wonderful.

Andrew: Like what, what’s been a challenge where you thought maybe we’re not going to get past this.

David: Oh, even, even the bottling was tricky, right. You’re looking for a, a company that can run non-alcoholic spirits, right? So it Was kind of an FDA and not a TTB, not another alcohol thing, but can run a 750 milliliter glass bottle, which is really kind of liquor specific. Not many things are made that way. Um, can also do the kind of blending and mixing we need.

Um, it all, it doesn’t all work of the, of the thousands of people in the country that can do it. Only a few could really be. And finding

Andrew: a time when you thought you were going to fail

David: Um,

Andrew: raise money

David: no, there actually wasn’t, um, there there’s been a lot of nerve wracking points, um, and I’ve had other companies that have absolutely failed, but for ritual, everything we’ve done, it it’s actually succeeded better than we expected.

Uh it’s it’s a different type of answer. What I would change and do differently is prepare for even more success earlier on.

Andrew: Yeah. So things did kind of get strained after COVID. Let me take a moment to talk about overpass for anyone who’s looking to hire salespeople, David, you, at some point might say, I need to hire salespeople fast. We’ve got this thing that’s happening. Maybe you’re starting to get orders on your website for something like hosting events, and you want to have a sales person talk to them.

Maybe you do corporate sales, whatever it is, or corporate sales would be really good for companies that do alcohol. It should be an embarrassment for them not to have a good ALC alcohol alternative, right? Don’t make your people feel weird. Let them just do their thing and not have to explain to everyone why they’re not drinking alcohol.

Or anyway, if you decide you need this, where are you going to go and hire salespeople? Well, overpass created a marketplace where you can hire salespeople and see what they’re like. Are they good on the phone? Are they good by email? Are they good by chat? How do they work? What’s good about them. And then when you decide to hire them, if they’re working remote for you, which they will be at overpass, they could be monitored.

They could be at, you could have your whole interaction, your whole process of working with. Handled by the overpass software overpass makes it really easy for people to hire salespeople. They want to make it easy for you to spin up a sales department, kind of like you can now spin up servers. All right, listen, meet people.

If you want to get a discount on overpass and let them know that you came from me, go to overpass.com/mixergy. This is one you’re going to want to remember and tell your friends are gonna appreciate that you told them about this overpass.com/mixergy to hire sales people. Yeah. You know what you told our producer about this failed company that you had?

I wasn’t, I wasn’t clear on what it was since you brought it up, let’s chat about it. What was it?

David: So I’ve had a couple other companies. Uh, my first one was called crave protein and it was a, it was a meat based protein powder company. Um, with the, with the original goal of every serving of this kind of protein shake was the equivalent of a chicken breast. They, um, I was in the fitness industry, you know, Challenged down chicken breasts everyday.

I thought there’s gotta be a better way. Um, knew nothing about bringing a product to market learned, learned a lot, uh, put a lot of money into it, um, of my own. Um, and it just never kind of got the traction. It needed it didn’t didn’t really know what I

Andrew: now that you’ve got traction with ritual and you could evaluate what was missing with the last one.

David: Hmm. I would have been marketing very differently. I would have positioned the product very, very differently. I would have started small, smaller than I, than I even did. Um, and really honed my voice, found that message got some proof points slowly grown. And What I did do is I, as I pivoted into a slightly different product that was, was much more successful.

Um, and that ended up becoming. An entirely different company that was quite

Andrew: product?

David: And the first one was called osteo broth. It was, uh, it was a. Dehydrated bone broth, one of the first commercialized bone broths on the market, um, which you’re familiar with bone broth. Uh, and it was great. It was mostly sold in, in clinics like mine to other healthcare practitioners, to chiropractors and other physical therapists, et cetera.

Sold on Amazon for awhile was very good. Um, and then go into the bone broth wave took off and it was everywhere. You could go to whole foods and buy it. Um, I decided I needed to change up this product?

offering a lot because it. You don’t go to your chiropractor, looking for bone broth. Um, you go to the grocery store looking for bone broth.

So I pull back and I’m kind of surrounded myself with some of the best in the business, in the grocery industry and created a company called parks and Nash and parks and Nash are the names of two family farms that have been in my family for four generations and parks and Nash was a dehydrated, um, instant soup based on bones.

Think of a 20 gram of protein Tuscan, vegetable cup of soup.

Andrew: Ah, so not just the bone broth, but the soup that’s based on bone broth. I also liked the name par parks in Nash, and the design changed completely. The what was the, uh, osteo broth?

David: Osteo. Bras. Yeah,

Andrew: that one felt like, yeah, clinical. Like, there’s gotta be something wrong with me or with my grandfather, for us to buy.

Parks and Nash looks like something on my bike and keep around the house around the house. Right. It comes in these nice containers. So now you’re starting to express some real design sensibilities, right?

David: Yeah, we did great jumped into 4,000 doors are still sold in places like whole foods and Kroger across the country. So much different experience there, you know, and this is, you know, this is all spanning up, you know, a seven-year period of, of learning, um, how to bring products to market,

Andrew: when did you launch parks? Nash? It’s more recent than that. Isn’t it?

David: Oh, Yeah. I meant from crave days with the parks and Nash. Yeah.

Andrew: Got it. Got it. You’re still running parks. Nash.

David: Ma’am.

Andrew: Okay. And so how how’d you get parks in Ashton to all these stores? This is it’s available on Amazon, but it seems to me like parks and Nash is more about going to your local grocery store.

Right?

David: is, it is, um, you know, I’m very, if I, if I have one skill it’s that in-person one-on-one session. That, that that’s probably where I shine the most. And I got a lot of doors open for me. I went into a lot of meetings at corporate headquarters. Now this is pre COVID I’m in all these grocery stores thinking, you know, I’ll take, I’ll take 1516 calls and I’ll get into a store.

Andrew: Okay.

David: all of them. So we actually scaled too quickly. We went from flat feet to about 4,000 doors, um, in a six month period. So that that’s a lot, that’s a major ramp up in production. Um, that’s a, that’s a personnel requirements, et cetera. It was a big, big, big escalation.

Andrew: If I were to do that, could you give me some advice, what would I need to do if I wanted to get into stores, the way that you did, if I don’t have your charm, I don’t have your,

David: But you do have charms, so you’re so you’re good. Um,

Andrew: pushy charm. You’ve got a, a softer touch.

David: You know, um, working in the food industry, working with a really good broker goes a long way. Um, the way, the way natural grocery and grocery works is there’s an intermediary, uh, company called a broker. And that is basically a group of salespeople that know the industry very well, but more importantly than other buyers, very well.

And the buyers know that they know their stuff. So if you’ve sold the broker, you’ve already pre-sold the buyer. If the broker believes in it, then they. Are more predisposed to believe in you as well. So that would, I would do that fine. Find the people that already have the trust of the decision maker.

Andrew: Dude. All I want to do is talk to you about ritual and what I think you could do. This is the more I drink it. The more I like it. Let’s let’s, let’s just brainstorm for a little bit, because my mind is just firing off with all these different ideas for it. Number one, I think all these people who are doing like cocktails for the office remotely, have you contacted them?

They should be while they’re making cocktails. Whatever whiskey they should, or with alcohol, with the, with the other, um, with rom whatever other spirits they should be introducing this because then you’re teaching them how to make a drink. And also how to appreciate the non-alcoholic option.

David: Yes.

Andrew: It’s slow rolling though.

You want to go bigger and you’ve

David: Well, no, I mean, the cat’s out of the bag, you know, we’re never going back to a point in time when Starbucks doesn’t offer almond milk. And when there aren’t little GFS next to a bunch of menu items for gluten-free like that, that’s expected by the host now to offer that and within a spirits it’s expected to have an adult offering.

Andrew: Really. If I go, if I go to the local health, if I go to a local place here on Valencia street, they’re going to have it.

David: Not necessarily.

Andrew: Not yet. We’re not there yet. I think people need to be trained to drink it and not question it, but to think about what they’re appreciating it. I also think that if there are any kind of events where people can just slowly talk, this would be a nice thing to, to introduce.

I think. I used to do events, uh, through Mixergy in a, in the tech startup space. And I remember when I talked to red bull because I partnered up with Mashable, they wanted to get red bull into the event. Mashable was huge in the space. I feel like if there’s any kind of, I don’t know, I just think that this is a drink that the more people spend time with, the more you appreciate.

And in the beginning it feels too foreign and you’re judging it compared to what you know,

David: We had, we had 2, 2, 2 cool examples of kinda what you’re talking about during the holidays this past year, um, we be partnering with Seattle bank to host their, uh, employee holiday party. It was a virtual, we had one of our bartenders, Carly Gaskin, amazing bartender come in, do a cocktail class. And we had sent everyone bottles in advance.

Everyone got the same experience they would have had if it would have been alcohol. But it was, it was friendly and wonderful. And then just a few weeks ago, we were the sponsors of the NBJ summit, which is that one of the biggest, um, kind of supplement focused health summits, um, run by a new hope and informa in the country.

And they have a wine sponsor and they had us as a mocktail sponsor and they, you know, they, they run expo west and all the big, major, um, health food conventions. And if not them who you looked at

Andrew: Right? Yes.

David: people at the, at the reception. Half of them holding a ritual cocktail. They wanted to be there and talk and experience and do business.

Didn’t have to be alcoholic.

Andrew: Okay. How about this? This is smaller again, but still, I feel like no company event should not have a non-alcoholic option. They all need a non-alcoholic option option. Imagine if you had something on your site where this might be too small, where people, it should be telling their bosses, even if it’s just like a link or something, we would like to have this without raising their hands and saying, I’m the awkward person who’s going to need them.

All right. What

David: could be more inclusive, right?

Andrew: Yeah, right. This coming from an, from a clear alcohol drinker, I will go to a party. I will have my whiskey. I will enjoy it. Yeah. I still don’t want anyone to feel weird or left out or less than in a conversation. And especially it’s painful when you have a company event and you’re really starting to put somebody in this bucket of not, or, or yes.

All right. Uh, COVID hit that, this idea. You’re going to go into stores. You have a talent and experience getting into stores. You suddenly are now a hobbled. What happened to the brand? What happened to say.

David: Yeah. So, um, I initially just right out of the gate called, uh, nine 11 brought everyone together and we, we developed three distinct budgets. The budget we already had, we were working with another one where we slashed everything and actually called it slashed budget. And it was, what if would have sales are way down?

We have many, many less opportunities to spend, um, for marketing. Everyone go and slash your budget. And then we had the disaster budget, but if we never make another penny, what if, what if there really are zombies? What if this whole thing is happening? How can we just hang on until this thing clears out and we immediately implemented a slash budget, uh, pulled back on all of the channels where we could.

We couldn’t effectively deploy capital. No one was listening and it was crazy to be spending on advertising. Right then it was COVID COVID COVID COVID COVID no one cared about the paid ad. Right. So pull back on everything, slashed budget, focusing on kind of organic communication with our, with our tribe.

Um, and I said, we’re good. Revisit this in 30 days, let’s just take a break. 30 days later, the sales rep about 40% and what the heck just happened. That didn’t make any sense. All right. Stay on the slashed budget. We’re not going to go back to spending aggressively. We’ll talk in 30 days, you know, of course we talk every day, but you get to revisit that in 30 days, sales are way up, what is happening here.

What was happening was, you know, did, did everyone drink more during COVID? Yeah.

but everyone just wanted to connect. They wanted to have that moment to mark a moment to make it special, to enhance the meal, to sit down by the fireplace with a book and appreciate that moment in time, whether it was alcoholic or non-alcoholic.

Um, and the whole category began to. Um, and eventually we kind of re implemented the original budget and our, uh, our sales last year were 40% above our original, very aggressive projections.

Andrew: And so I could see COVID doing that now that things are starting to get back to normal. Well, who knows? Um, our numbers going back to where they were before.

David: No, everything, everything hidden, everything is just hockey, stick trajectory. It’s crazy. We, um, no we’ve been in total wine and more, uh, a great national chain and been doing an incredible business there, even all through COVID our e-comm sales remained steady. We’re launching in whole foods this month, which is super exciting.

Um, and I think, you know, historically natural grocery is the early adopter in food. Um, with this product, it’s been the liquor industry and natural grocery, but now we’re really giving national grocery a chance of whole foods is going to explode. This category is just beginning and we’re right on top of it.

Andrew: The whole thing is even, even non alcoholic, beer is starting to get good. I remember I interviewed Sam Parr like a couple of years ago. He was, he gave up drinking. He switched to non alcoholic beer. He was drinking something like Heineken zero. It’s awful. I literally got a case of it delivered to my office.

It was given to me. I tasted one. I couldn’t handle it. It was so bad. I put it in the, in, in the lobby for anyone else to take non alcoholic. Beer now has gotten really good,

David: Very

Andrew: try to ship non alcoholic beer to people by mail, the way you ship these bottles, it’s much more expensive, much more involved.

This is, this is the way to go. Finally, when you’re getting people to your site, it’s a challenge. Right? I understand. Going on Amazon, I understand that we all learn how to improve our messaging on Amazon, but what about getting people to your own site? What’s worked for you.

David: yeah.

You know, we have, we have influencers and ambassadors, uh, paid ads, a very robust, organic social following that we’ve gotten from being genuine and telling our story and communicating with people that want to communicate with us. Um, and when you get to our site, It’s a journey, you know, there, there there’s information.

There’s, there’s a story to be told. There’s a lot to learn. You can explore the brand and really enjoy the brand process while you’re there. And I think, I think that’s a big part of it being genuine. You know, we didn’t come out and say in a spiritual, the only way to go. And if you drink, you’re evil, like done and we drink and there’s a million reasons to have this and we’re not talking down to anybody and we’re as inclusive as possible.

Let’s let’s talk and see if this fits into your life somehow.

Andrew: So, what is it paid? Ads. Influencers. What type of influencers? Uh, send you guys customers

David: Um, it’s, it’s really, truly the best kind. We, we only take in people or that, that wants this product to be a part of their lives. So these are not major big influences. They’re more micro and

Andrew: regular, everyday people that we don’t have, like non-alcoholic influencers.

David: No, no.

not necessarily. We do have people that are very passionate about the product with large followings that do this kind of thing. So almost, almost more ambassador than an influencer. Yeah.

Andrew: Got it. All right. Um, the website for anyone wants to go check it out is rituals zero proof, uh, dot com. I love design. I love the business. I think it just makes total total sense. I think we need more of this. We need more non-alcoholic alternatives that slow us down. Yeah. And let us enjoy the night or let us enjoy our friends.

All right. I’m going to keep on drink. Well, actually I feel kind of weird drinking this in the morning. It’s it’s almost noon, but it still feels like Andrew drank this slower later on. Um,

David: You kind of feel like you’re getting away with something right now, don’t you.

Andrew: It’s like the brain is, it feels like I’m doing something inappropriate. My brain is getting tricked into thinking I’m doing doing this.

And I’m getting a little bit just like easy in a way that I, I wouldn’t want to be right now.

David: There’s a placebo effect. There really.

Andrew: what it is. It’s a real placebo effect. I have to keep reminding myself I’m not drinking and it’s not because. It’s because I’m drinking it slowly is because it’s got that spicy feel to it.

All right. I pulled you out of your day for this because I want to do this before I left San Francisco. I’m really appreciative that you did the interview. I thank the two sponsors who made this interview happen. The first, if you need a website hosted, go to host gator.com/mixergy. The second, when you’re ready to hire salespeople, go to overpass.com/mixergy.

David. Thanks so much.

David: Thank you.

Andrew: Thanks, bye everyone.

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